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Koraput set for Rahul-Naveen Battle Royale today

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau

Koraput, Mar 31:

Undivided Koraput district in southern Odisha is set for a Battle Royale on Monday as BJD supremo and the party’s one man campaign army Naveen Patnaik is set to lock horns with Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi in the effort to woo the voters in this tribal dominated district.

Patnaik, who has already set the tone for today’s battle by accusing the Congress led UPA government of shelving the centrally sponsored long term action plan (LTAP) for undivided Koraput-Bolangir and Kalahandi (KBK) districts in a series of elections rallies he addressed during his whirlwind tour of the undivided Koraput district yesterday, will resume his verbal warfare today.

In what is going to be his first election rally in Odisha, Gandhi would begin his day’s engagement with a public meeting at Semiliguda in Koraput district at 11 am and round it off with one in Umerkote in neighbouring Nabarangpur district.

The pre-division district of Koraput holds great significance for both sides since the two Lok Sabha constituencies – Koraput and Nabarangpur – are set to witness a keen contest between the BJD and the Congress this time.

While Pradeep Majhi of the Congress had won the Nabarangpur seat last time, Jayaram Pangi of the BJD had stopped Giridhar Gamang’s juggernaut in neighbouring Koraput, ending the former Chief Minister’s bid to seek an unprecedented tenth straight term from the constituency.

While Majhi is seeking a second consecutive term as Nabarangpur MP, Gamang believes he has to make a comeback against the BJD’s Jhina Hikaka this time.